NASTAR alpine racing championships return to Snowmass for six days of skiing |

NASTAR alpine racing championships return to Snowmass for six days of skiing

Hundreds of competitors coming to Snowmass for chance at medals, prizes

Start gate for the NASTAR course at Snowmass.
David Krause / Snowmass Sun

Snowmass will host this year’s National Standard Race (NASTAR) alpine racing championships for six days of cross-discipline, standardized competition April 5 to 10.

Hundreds of skiers and snowboarders will take to the course on the Upper Blue Grouse trail (below the Village Express chairlift) to compete for medals and prize money as participants in the largest public grassroots ski racing program in the world.

This year marks the fifth time in NASTAR history that championships take place in Snowmass; the organization’s director, Bill Madsen, also is the mayor of the town.

“When these people come to Snowmass and have that (ski-in, ski-out) experience, they’re coming back,” Madsen said. “It’s such a unique and different sort of ski vacation that I’m just really excited about having these people experience Snowmass.”

NASTAR’s handicap system allows participants of all ages and abilities to compare their results. Racers are placed in one of four divisions — Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum — based on their time compared to that of a national pace setter, with provisions for age, gender and mode of competition (i.e. skiing, snowboarding, telemark skiing or adaptive skiing and snowboarding).

The “Race of Champions” finals will allow the winners of each division to compete in a head-to-head race to the finish line.

The venue is accessible and well-suited for socially distanced spectating but, Madsen continued, “the best way to experience it is to race.”

Those who wish to participate but have not yet completed a qualifying run on a NASTAR course can do so Thursday to Saturday at Snowmass on the Upper Blue Grouse course and Thursday to Sunday at Aspen Mountain on the course near the Silver Dip run below the gondola.

Wednesday is the final day of regular registration for the championships; late registration will be available until 6 p.m. Tuesday for a higher fee. Registration is capped at 500 competitors across all divisions.

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